The Charlie Sheen media blitz continues. On Monday (February 28) the troubled "Two and a Half Men" actor followed up his rabid radio interviews from last week with a pair of morning talk-show rants that pulled no punches when it came to his belief that Charlie knows what's best for Charlie. From his claims that he's cured himself of addiction to threats to sue his show's producers for hundreds of millions of dollars in lost wages, Sheen answered all questions in his signature raw, honest manner.
After criticizing his bosses at the top-rated sitcom — which shut down production for the season last week in retaliation for Sheen's tirades — and lashing out at show creator Chuck Lorre, Sheen told NBC's "Today" show that he'll gladly return whenever they want him: for a 50 percent raise.
Looking haggard, with his hair swept up in a pompadour on the top of his head and trimmed closely on the sides, Sheen demanded that his salary, already the highest on TV, be raised to $3 million per episode while telling network CBS that they owe him an apology. "A big one. While licking my feet," he said.
Production on the ninth season of the sitcom was halted last week, but Sheen denied that the action was a result of his comments. "I'm not angry, I'm passionate," he explained to reporter Jeff Rossen in an interview conducted at Sheen's Los Angeles home on Sunday, where the star was accompanied by a pair of friends he referred to as "the goddesses" as well as his twin sons. Sheen said he never showed up to the set drunk or stoned, perhaps a bit "sideways" at times after a hard night. He said that he may have missed some rehearsals, but "practice is for amateurs." He made it clear that his recent lashing out is not a result of his being upset by the network's actions.
"Everybody thinks I should be begging for my job back, and I'm just going to forewarn them that it's everybody else that's going to be begging me for their job back," he said. "I am a man of my word, so I will finish the TV show. I'll even do season 10, but at this point, [because of] psychological distress, oh my God, it's 3 mil an episode. ... Take it or leave it." Asked to confirm he was asking for a major raise, Sheen nodded, "Yeah, look what they put me through." Already reportedly the highest-paid actor in television at $2 million an episode, Sheen said he felt underpaid given what CBS is making on the program.
"I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special," Sheen said, shifting nervously in his chair, his eyes wide open and his legs moving restlessly. "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching, a total fricking rock star from Mars, and people can't figure me out; they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with a normal brain."
Sheen told Rossen that such friends as Colin Farrell, Mel Gibson and Sean Penn have offered their support, while accusing "Men" creator Chuck Lorre of "trying to destroy my family." He claimed to be clean and sober during the interview, saying "drug tests don't lie," but when asked about the last time he got high, he said hurriedly, "Don't remember, don't care." Sheen claimed to have cured himself of addiction by closing his eyes and "making it so" with the power of his mind, slamming the wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The actor said he turned to drugs and alcohol out of boredom and a desire to see things differently, explaining that he founded his own unlicensed in-home rehab dubbed "Sober Valley Lodge," where the principles of A.A. are not tolerated.
"I will not believe that if I do something then I have to follow a certain path because it was written nice," he said, claiming to have achieved "radical success" with his program. "[A.A.] was written for normal people, people that aren't special. People that don't have tiger blood, you know, Adonis DNA."
After widely reported incidents in which he allegedly held a knife to the throat of his ex-wife and trashed a New York hotel room, Sheen denied being a violent person and said those tales were told by people who don't know him or what really happened. "It's all just judgment and opinion and the gibberish of fools," he said.
He claimed he is now "at war" with CBS. "Defeat is not an option. They picked a fight with a warlock," he said, accusing them of trying to take money from his family by shutting down the show. His plan for winning that war? "With zeal and focus, violent hatred. ... You either love or you hate. You live in the middle, you get nothing."
Speaking directly to Lorre, Sheen read a group of questions to the show runner. "Why is it when I was ready to return to work you told me there are no scripts ready to shoot?" he read from an index card, following with a question about what would have been shot "had you not ordered the suits into my home to shut down my party?"
Sheen was equally unapologetic in an interview that aired on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday, a perceived coup that was trumped when NBC ran with its segment earlier in the morning. In that talk, Sheen, smoking a cigarette on camera, denied being bipolar or mentally disturbed. "Wow, and then what? What's the cure? Medicine. Make me like them, not gonna happen," he said dismissively. "I'm bi-winning. I win here and I win there; now what?"
Pressed to remember the last time he took drugs, Sheen again declined to give a specific date, but described the episode: "I probably took more than anybody could survive. ... I was bangin' seven-gram rocks and finishing them because that's how I roll, because I have one speed, one gear."
Asked how he survives such epic drug use, Sheen said assuredly, "Because I'm me. I'm different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying's for fools, dying's for amateurs."
Calling his life "perfect" at the moment, Sheen said he was focused and excited about life and answering to a "higher calling." Saying he blinked and cured his brain, Sheen said he had no worries about relapsing, but at the same time he admitted to loving to party. "What's not to love?" he said. "Especially when you see how I party. It was epic. The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards all of them look like droopy-eyed armless children. ... I am on a drug, it's called Charlie Sheen. It's not available because if you try it once you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."
In another part of the interview, Sheen said he was tired of being kicked around for his lifestyle and that he planned to sue "Men" producers for $300 million. "They're in radical breach [of contract]. ... Sorry guys, you screwed up," he said, explaining that he would file a suit for "tons." "They will actually put it on a scale ... and they are gonna lose in a courtroom," he promised.